For the past year, I have been speaking about building my coaching business, including sharing with people my struggles with promoting myself. I am a social and business connector. I will work with and get to know a company, a hair stylist, a financial planner, and I if I like them and trust their work, I will bring them new clients. It is pretty amazing. I have the skills to communicate their strengths, and encourage the people to be their newest and most loyal clients. I also follow up to be sure the deal was sealed.
Recently, I was out to dinner with my hair stylist. We struck up a conversation with our server, and as we talked, I noticed the server had very curly hair. When I asked her about her curly hair, she commented that she couldn’t find a good hairstylist. And what did I do? I promoted my hair stylist with great examples of how she helped my sister and a good friend that had extremely curly hair. I felt no anxiety, no reservation and I was convincing. I was convincing because I believe in her skills 100%. By the end of the dinner, our server asked for my hair stylist’s card. A few weeks later I asked Sheri if she received a call from our server Sam, and she did!
I also love to “sell” my business partner. I know her skills, her work ethic, and professionalism and I promote her. When it is not me I am speaking about, it is so easy and so simple. We will be at networking events, and I have found myself promoting her over me. It is so strange. I know I have very good skills. My current clients and my former clients would recommend me as a coach or therapist, but it feels odd when I sell myself. I don’t stammer, I don’t clam up but I become reserved in my salesmanship. I don’t “toot my own horn” as loudly or as convincingly so to speak. If someone says I am interested but I am on a tight budget or I can’t afford coaching, I tend to back off. I also don’t follow through with checking in, a few weeks later, to see if he or she is now ready for coaching; I will check in with friends to see if they have hired my financial planner. I seal their deal, but not my own.
I know coaching is worth the investment. I know that coaching improves all aspects of my life and it is worth every penny I spend. Although it has been a growth experience for me, I am learning to convince people that they can’t afford to not hire a coach, and that I am the coach for them. I used to want to know why it was difficult to self-promote.
• Was/is it because I am so used to helping others but not myself?
• Did/do I have a fear of success?
• Did/do I have a fear of failure?
• Was/am I afraid people will think I am full of myself?
Do any of you small business owners relate to this? Recently, I decided to follow the Michael Jordan Nike Commercial, “Just Do it.” The more I sell my services which means selling myself, the easier it gets. I know in the end my clients will be happy. So my suggestion is not to worry about the Why but focus on the How! Ideas on how to self-promote will come soon!